「フラウと吸血鬼」 (Furau to Kyuuketsuki)
“Frau and the Vampire”
Episode 05 of Peach Boy Riverside takes some time out of Sally’s road trip as they encounter a town that is being plagued by vampire attacks. But when the villagers of the town are aggressively racist to Frau, it begs to question whether any of these humans are worth saving and why Sally is more willing to cape for even the worst humans on the planet.
One of the more interesting topics explored in this episode was how Meki, now known as Carrot, has to come to terms with having new friends who are entirely sympathetic to humans, no matter how egregious they may be. With her unfamiliarity with the petty and meaningless prejudice of the human world, Meki’s immediate reaction is to reel in horror on Frau’s behalf. To be honest, it’s hard to blame Meki for being disgusted enough by the racism Frau faces that she’d root for the vampire.
While it’s surprising that Meki would think highly enough of Sally to think she would use her powers against humans, there isn’t much of a reason for Sally to help out any of the humans she’s come across aside from taking it upon herself to hunt whichever ogres are attacking the town she’s currently hanging out at. There wasn’t much of a vote of confidence for Sally to make life easier for Frau or stand up for her when she’s in too deep to upset any of the humans around her. With all of the humans she wants to save and all the ogres she’s willing to hunt in the process, the only thing she can do in response to Frau’s discrimination is grumble to herself.
Sally makes for an interesting heroine mostly because she doesn’t have a good grasp of her peach eye. She could prove to be a ticking time bomb if her peach eye ends up triggering around a point where she would end up seeing repulsive people in the same light as a dangerous ogre, especially with how it flashed for a moment in response to her octopus trauma. Sally might not be as willing to attack humans to defend Frau, but the temper she has towards the mistreatment Frau faces or seeing Frau being killed by Kyuketsuki might start channeling itself into other situations where Frau is antagonized.
Meki is also proving to be interesting because of how her emotional state keeps wavering with her interactions with Frau and Sally. Her disgust with Frau’s treatment would turn out to be the catalyst to drive her to the brink where she could question her role as a former ogre. It’s understandable that, in a moment of weakness, she would end up requesting Kyuketsuki to kill all of the town’s humans, even if they’ve both lumped Sally in with the rest of them due to her disinterest in attacking those who have mistreated Frau. She might have retracted this hatred after seeing Frau and Sally risk their lives in their fight with Kyuketsuki, but I can see it coming back in full circle once it comes to her attention that Sally killed off Sett and is chummy with the man who stole her horn.
It is too bad that Frau ended up being such a tragic character. On top of the sad reality, she has to endure by putting up with so much hatred, she can only find comfort in the companionship of a tolerant woman who wants to save everyone who has been racist to her. Frau’s method of merely coping with the prejudice she’s had to endure as she relies on Sally for comfort in a cruel human-centric world that treats her like garbage is actually pretty upsetting.
The fact that death is a revolving door for her and angels such as Atla warn her that her mind and body can’t handle being regularly murdered and revived is even worse. It would make Frau’s existence come off like it was merely there to serve Sally as it pushes her to end racism against demihumans.
Where she not only has to rely on Sally to have any kind of autonomy but she is also placed in the position of becoming a martyr after a few more sacrifices like this one so that Sally can advocate for the one demihuman that other humans tolerate who happens to be conveniently out of the picture. If the story is going to solve the world’s prejudice, it’d be more poignant and special if they didn’t treat Frau like she needed to be willing to give up her entire being if it meant devoting herself to the one human that was kind to her.